Gale (1987) reported the combined solvent power of supercritical fluids with the solvent power of micellar solutions which appears promising in connection with enhanced oil recovery. Likewise, recognition of the possible formation and destruction of reversed micelles by naturally-occurring amphiphilic substances, such as those associated with asphaltenes, may explain problems experienced in some EOR projects. Lipophilic supercritical components of reservoir fluids (e.g. light hydrocarbons and CO2) interact, in a controllable manner, with hydrophilic micellar complexes to achieve selective extraction of desirable components of crude oil. Fundamentals of supercritical fluids and of micellar systems are reviewed in terms of their mutual interaction and their potential applicability in EOR processes.

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